Rhia
This morning I was woken with a very lovely "Morning Mummy, I love you". This instantly brought a smile to my face (which if you've ever seen me first thing minus the caffeine hit is no mean feat). I enthusiastically roll over to see my little darling who is climbing up onto my pillows.

He looks down at my cleavage which is not so modestly covered by my singlet top (I was sleeping- I don't just get around like that) and he says "Are they ya boobies?" pointing to my boobs.

"Umm well yes" I say hesitantly, wondering why the sudden interest.


"Are they a bit wobbly?" he asks - highly interested in my answer.

"Err... well umm maybe a little bit" I say..

"No Mummy, Not a little bit- they wobble fast"

And with that little titbit (sorry I couldn't resist a lame pun), he was running out of the room and leaving me to wonder what else I've got that wobbles.


What have your kids said that made you wonder if their sole purpose in life was to say things that make you cringe?
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Rhia
image via rose-wallpapers.com
If you have been reading my blog then you may be aware that I recently got married. Planning the wedding was fun and I actually really enjoyed the process- except for the odd meltdown.

Now that we are back and settled there is the little matter of changing my name to attend to. I am not sure what the hold up is here- when we first got back I started the process within a week of arriving back from the honeymoon. I then had to wait for a copy of the marriage certificate and the process stalled. And has not progressed since.

I have letters prepared and waiting to be sent out. These are dated 11/05/2012. And the sad thing is they were pre-dated as this was the date I was expecting to have well and truly received my certificate and had copies certified.

And yet I still have not sent them out. At this point I am in danger of repeating the name changing "non event" of my first marriage- which basically went along the lines of me not changing my name (but saying I would a lot) and then separating before I actually got around to it. Actually come to think of it a lot of things never actually happened before we separated- the wedding video was still being edited. In that instance my lack of motivation was a blessing because I just would've had to change it back again.

I think maybe it is just the idea of change. It is hard to get my head around calling myself something different. I feel like people will know that it's not really my name - or something. Weird right? Also I tried to practise a new signature a few times and it felt really unnatural- I kept muddling up the letters.

I have decided to take the plunge and get those letters sent out. Maybe it will sink in that it really is my name once I see it on my drivers licence...

Did you change your name? Did you find it hard?

 PS I should add that I do want the same name as my husband. I realise that this is not for everyone and totally respect anyone that wants to keep their own name etc.
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Rhia
This weekend was a long weekend here in WA. For the most part we had a quiet little time mainly due to the fact that I caught the flu from my flu shot bastard. We did make it out of the house on Sunday morning though as I was going a little stir crazy.

I have been complaining for a while now that since I am the only girl I spend a lot of time playing cars or football or trucks or dinosaurs and not nearly enough time having tea parties. So my beautiful boys treated me to a tea party on the river and it was awesome!!


It was so nice to sit back with my tea and enjoy the views of the river and hang out with my two favourite people...


Aren't they cute? MM was super excited that he and daddy were both wearing red jumpers. These things are very important when you are three. I was super excited because I love love love tea and pretty things and vintage stuff and this tearoom was all decked out in vintage charm and I was totally in heaven.


After the tearooms they took me back to bed to sleep off the rest of the flu- which frankly I think has only served to make it stronger bloody bugs. But my little excursion was certainly the highlight of our three days off. I think MM's highlight was having his uncle and his 3 big boy cousins over for dinner and riding scooters. I think hubby's was probably being able to go to the pub Saturday afternoon for a "baby head wetting session"- friends of ours - we are not still wetting MM's head or anything weird like that.

What was your weekend highlight?

Joining in with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for #IBOT
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Rhia

I went through a breakup this week and it was tough. With MM's Daycare. I don't wish this on anyone because as a family we are traumatised. MM has been going to the same daycare since he was a tiny baby. He is now 3 years old. He knows that place inside and out and it has truly been like a second home. Until recently.

Around his birthday (in Feb) he was moved from the toddler room to the pre-school room. Around this time we started to get reports of undesirable behaviour from the daycare staff. We also got reports of undesirable behaviour from MM about the daycare staff. We thought that MM was telling us stories because he didn't like getting in trouble. We also thought that this explained why all of a sudden he didn't want to go any more and would start crying at 8am before we had even left the house.

As parents this concerned us - as did the reports of his behaviour and we took an active approach to working with the centre to provide continuity and consistency in the behaviour management strategies in order to help get MM back on track. One of the carers in his room was lovely and I could tell she genuinely cared for my son. The other one was vile and had a terrible attitude.

I would go in after work and the first carer would pull me aside and update me on MM's day- good, bad or otherwise we would discuss it in private. I would then go and collect MM from the room where carer #2 would stop reading the story to the group of children and loudly in front of children, parents and whoever else was there proceed to tell me that "MM Had a terrible day, didn't listen at all etc etc etc). On more than one occasion I shut this down with a "thanks- I have been updated" and a look- which should have spoke volumes. She never really seemed to get the hint though.

On Tuesday I wasn't feeling well. I left work early and went to pick him up from daycare. The kids from his room were all playing outside. Carer #1 was on holidays so a carer from the toddler room who used to be MM's carer before he was moved up was filling in. She pulled me aside to have a chat as she was concerned about a few things. Whilst she was filling me in on the days events I was watching MM play with the kids in his room. In the space of 10 minutes I heard the following:

"MM is naughty"
"MM is bad"
"You are a bad boy MM- we don't like bad boys"
"MM is a stupid head, MM is a Stupid Head"

The look on my son's face was heartbreaking. I have never seen him so upset. I alerted the carer I was talking to and she instantly went to take control of the situation because carer #2 was not doing anything!

As we both went over to sort it out one little girl came up to me and eagerly tried to inform me as to what was going on. "MM is bad" she told me, looking up as though I would be pleased with her for letting me know. I lost it. I told the little girl that in fact MM isn't bad- even if he doesn't always do what he is told and that actually it isn't nice to call someone bad. She looked at me in complete disbelief. As if this is the first time anyone had ever told her off for saying that. That look devastated me. I knew then that this had been going on all day -everyday. At the age of 3 my son has been labelled as "bad" and treated accordingly. These are only kids- they are getting it from somewhere and my guess is carer #2.

The carer and I took MM inside and had a talk about what had just happened. I told her what I suspected- and she said "I'd like to be able to deny it but from what I have seen this past 2 days it is true". She also verified MM's stories of being called a "crybaby" when upset (by the carer) etc.

I left the daycare and burst into tears. I called my husband crying so hard that I couldn't get the words out to actually tell him what has been going on.

I can't believe that I put my faith in them to look after my most precious being and they fucked it up. That poor kid. I also can't believe that I kept taking him there after he clearly didn't want to go anymore. I work full time- daycare is a necessity for us, but maybe I should have moved him when I knew he wasn't happy. I just honestly thought that a) they were looking after him and b) a change to a new daycare would be too traumatic.

We had yesterday at home together as I couldn't bear the thought of taking him back there. We interviewed at a new centre and he started there this morning. His first day at the new daycare was as hard as the first day EVER of daycare. Actually probably harder because on his first day ever he wasn't actually able to say "mummy please don't leave me here", I just imagined him saying it.

To be fair I should tell you that the owner of the daycare spent an awful lot of time on the phone to me yesterday telling me all of the ways it will change there. I just need to give them a month, 3 weeks - something and then if I don't see any change move. Unfortunately I know that it is futile. What I experienced Tuesday was a deal breaker. It is time to move on and start fresh.

My heart is hurting today but I am pleased to say I am staying strong. It is lunchtime and I have only called twice to check on him. So far he is being the brave little soldier I know he is.

Have you ever needed to breakup with a daycare?

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Rhia
This post features some issues that rate pretty high on the embarrassment-o-meter- I am slightly blushing as I type this. I am also pretty happy that I am hiding behind this screen and don't have to look directly at you....

So, my darling husband has been telling me I do something quite horrible for a while now. This particular thing is not pretty and I don't like to admit it. As a result I have been sticking my head in the sand - whilst he has been getting more and more animated in describing the problem- which has made me more embarrassed causing me to simply burrow deeper into the sand and secretly plot ways to exact revenge for my humiliation.

Deep Breath.... and here goes. I am a snorer. There I admitted it. I snore. This statement makes me feel as feminine as I would feel had I just said 'I am a trucker named Bob'. To make matters worse- I am not just snoring. I am swimming laps in my sleep. My husband tells me that I roll over on average once every 30 seconds or so. This goes a long way toward explaining why I am waking up exhausted. I am probably getting more exercise in my sleep that I am getting the whole time I am awake (sad I know).

The swimming of laps in my sleep also means I can't keep pretending that the snoring is a figment of my husbands wild imagination. I am too exhausted NOT to do something about it. I have finally been worn down enough (worn out out enough?) to take action. I have scoured the depths of the Internet and discovered it is very likely that I have sleep apnoea (yes, thank you DR Google).

At first this led me to be very cross. I had a week or two of some  child-like tanty's and even shot out a "no you can't change the channel- YOU gave me sleep apnoea" or two. I have since come to terms with it. Actually my views on it have turned around considerably.

My change of heart came about upon discovering the causes of sleep apnoea. One of which is a deviated septum. Hmmm why does that sound familiar? I asked myself. A-ha! That's why all the supermodels and Hollywood starlets get nose jobs! To fix their deviated septums! Whooo Hoo.

I am now no longer avoiding the doctors like the plague. I am phoning up for the first available appointment. I wanna know where I sign up for my free (or at least heavily subsidised) nose job. Thank You Sleep Apnoea.

Oh if my husband asks I am off to the docs because I realise now that sleep apnoea is a potentially serious condition which can lead to other serious health problems and I am a very responsible person.

PS. It has been suggested that I am very vain and should talk to my psychologist about this next time I am there. This has been duly noted. I personally think I am seeking out the silver lining. Or making lemonade.. or hay or something...

When have you found an expected upside?

Joining in with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.
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Rhia
Some people are frightened of spiders, for some people it's the dark or even just change or the unknown. My biggest fear is mediocrity. I am frightened that somehow I will wake up one day and realise that my life has up and passed me by, and I just settled. Settled for something mediocre and dull. Settled for a life I didn't really want because it was there and it was easy.

 I almost did this when I was young and stupid (given that I am still young I'll change that to young-er and stupid-er) and I got married at 21. To an idiot. That I didn't love (I didn't fully realise this at the time- but I now know this as I am infinitely wiser). I knew deep down something wasn't right but I squished that feeling up into a little ball and shoved it into a dark cob-webby recess of my mind and ignored it. It made a few valiant attempts to be heard - like the full blown body chills the night before the wedding that even a steaming hot shower couldn't warm up (I thought I was getting the flu) or even the fact that I inexplicably started crying on the morning of the wedding and couldn't stop for about 45 minutes (the looks from my bridesmaids were priceless during that time) but I soldiered on and married I was. I endured 12 months and 2 weeks of the crapiest excuse for a marriage that I can think of (thinking that it was a life sentence- torture in itself) before I was rescued.

Knights in shining armour come in many different shapes and sizes and surprisingly mine came in the form of a young maiden- also known as my husbands girlfriend. She called me one day and told me that she thought it had gone on long enough. She had thought of saying something the day of the wedding, but thought better of it last minute. She thought maybe now after 12 months and 2 weeks of him not telling me, that maybe she should. I whole-heartedly agreed with her. And so I was set free, to try again -with lessons learnt.

I was lucky. I had made a mistake that could have landed me with a "less-than" life. I was scared of being alone because I didn't think I was strong enough or brave enough to face life on my own. I didn't think I would ever find someone to love me in a real way because I didn't yet love myself. It took my life turning on its head for me to realise that in fact I was strong- stronger than I thought possible. I was brave too and many other wonderful things that I hadn't known about myself. I was lucky that I had the opportunity to find this out. I did learn from my mistakes and I vowed never to settle again.

It is now several years later and I am married to the man of my dreams. The lead up to the wedding was a time of anticipation and joy. There were no 'cold feet' or bouts of tears- just smiles and happy thoughts (and the occasional bridezilla-esque moment). I don't see my marriage as a life sentence but as a privileged existence. I get to share my world with my best friend and overall favourite person. My marriage is a testament to fact that the benefits of being true to yourself are infinite.

I used to wish that my first marriage never happened. I never thought I would say this but  I am grateful for it. If I had been fortunate enough to sail through life and meet my beautiful husband and have the happy marriage from the outset I may never have learnt what can happen when you settle. I may have been in danger of doing it with other aspects of my life and as a result ended up with the middle of the road, boring existence that I am so scared of. Now I have a little piece of my heart, that though healed is still scarred. That scar reminds me not settle. As long as I heed its warning I know I'll live happily ever after.


What life lessons are you grateful for?

Linking up with Kate from Kate Says Stuff for Thankful Thursday :-)

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Rhia
Yep that's right mental illness. No one really wants to talk about, look at or generally admit that it exists. But I am going to write about it today because it's easier than talking about it and watching you wriggle and squirm and not really know where to look.

Also it'd be nice just to get it off my chest and not feel like you are judging me or pushing me back towards medication that I have zero desire to take. Why if it makes me feel better, you ask? Because I am not so sure it does make me feel better and it definitely doesn't make me feel like me. And also because I am allowed to HAVE A BAD WEEK. Just because I am anxious at the moment (admittedly more than the average amount) doesn't mean I am not functioning or living.

I know you feel like I am arguing semantics when I say that I am still living because all you mean is that I am not living at 'my optimum' but I beg to differ. I am getting out of bed in the morning, showering, going to work and being mummy. I do all of this despite the anxiety and I am still doing a good job. I have been in a place where my anxiety has prevented me from doing that so when I say that I am still living I AM NOT SPLITTING HAIRS. I am bloody well living and doing a good job of it.

I don't like feeling that I could be dosed up on meds or shipped off somewhere the minute that I can't be bothered plastering a smile on my face and pretending everything is peachy. Please trust me when I tell you that I am ok- it's just a bad week. Believe me when I need to see my doctor I will see him- there is no shame in that. It's just like when I have a cold- I'll deal with it myself but once it turns into the flu I'll make an appointment. You wouldn't second guess me then right?

I just read my post back and realised that if I post this then you will know that I am feeling anxious. You will know that sometimes it is really hard to deal with and you will know that I don't always feel together and in control.Now I don't know if I can post it because I don't know if I can handle the fact that you know. This is why I never want to talk about this in person. I feel like the second I tell you this you will feel like I am a different person. You won't know how to talk to me anymore. You will start looking nervously at your watch and wondering what excuse you can make to get of here in a hurry. Or worse you will decide that you need to fix me and start asking me all sorts of questions like have I seen my doctor? or wouldn't I like to talk to someone professionally about this? And then I will feel like a sick person or someone that you are sad for and not like your friend anymore.

This will make me feel like I really shouldn't have told you that. It is much easier to pretend everything is peaches (because honestly, who doesn't love peaches?).

I have decided to post it anyway because I have decided that you may feel this way sometimes too. Maybe you need someone to talk to in a non-judgy way when you feel a little bit anxious. And what kind of friend would I be if I didn't let you know that you're not alone?

Sorry for the Debbie Downer post- I really did need a vent and to be honest life isn't always amazingly awesome all of the time. This blog wouldn't be real if I only wrote about the positive things. Next time I'll try to wow you with some of the good stuff, I promise.

Piece out dudes (sorry I was watching  90210 and some of the lingo stuck- yeek that was probably harder to admit than the first bit).
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Rhia
This morning I was treated to a beautiful mothers day event at MM's daycare and a very happy face when I said I would be there:


Firstly there was some time for play. It was such a treat to be able to see MM interacting with his little friends and an insight into what the average day looks like for him- whilst I am slaving away at work :-). It was lovely to see him so comfortable there and clearly having a great time:


And then there were cupcakes to decorate:

And morning tea to eat and enjoy:

But the biggest treat came in a form that I was not expecting. Some validation that can only come from people going through the same thing as you. I was afforded a rare (for me) opportunity to speak to some of the daycare mummies that have kids the same age as MM. It seems that I am not the only person experiencing the tantrums, defiance, door slamming and other generally 'not so nice' behaviour that my usually adorable son has been displaying lately. I cannot even begin to tell you the relief that I am feeling right now.

I have just been given the gift of knowing that I am NOT the worlds worst mummy, I am NOT doing absolutely everything wrong and this difficult stage WILL pass. Hallelujah!

Happy Mother's Day Mummies.

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Rhia
I am trying new things this week and so for the first time ever I will be joining in with Thankful Thursday with Kate Says Stuff. When thinking of things that I am thankful for the 'no brainer' is my little man (well both my men actually but I'll focus on the little one today).

A while back I wrote a post about the 10 cutest things MM does from day to day in honour of his third birthday. I am thankful for all of those things and actually have a couple more to add to the list:

  • When you ask him what noise an elephant makes and he does the noise but also the trunk with his arm
  • When you ask him how much he loves you and he says "lil bit" with a very cheeky grin
  • The way he says my name "Ah-Rannon" (is actually Rhiannon)
  • The way he sings the spiderman song "he doo's whatever a spidey doo's" so cute!
  • The way he loves his cousins and follows them around trying to be "big".

I am thankful everyday for the joy and love that he has brought into my life and the way he can melt my heart with a single smile. I am also thankful to Kate for prompting me to write this post and "think happy thoughts".

Happy Thursday everyone - can't wait to read what you are all thankful for.
Rhia
Today I have my 'serious pants' on as my husband likes to say, whenever I stop laughing at his usually funny jokes. Yesterday I wrote a fairly light hearted post about my post-wedding come down as being the reason for me feeling so flat. After careful contemplation I feel there may be more to my 'flatness' than simply grieving for my 'bride to be' status.

Mothers Day. It's everywhere. This probably isn't the worst thing in the world for most of you and to be honest since becoming a mum myself it has definitely taken on a new light in my own eyes. It's still hard though. I am not sure if I've ever mentioned this on here before or not but my mum died when I was a baby. I was three months old and she was nearly 18. It was a tragedy. It is hard to explain to someone the grief you feel over losing a mother that you can't remember. Many people assume that it is not difficult at all. That's not true - I believe the grief is different but yes it is still difficult, it is still real and it still hurts.

I haven't lost a person that I can remember, no. I haven't lost someone that used to take me places or make me laugh, brush my hair or hug me when I was sad. Except I have. Growing up I used to dream of all those things. Of someone who would listen to me about my day at school, or watch me in the school play. I dreamt of someone who would think I was wonderful no matter what I did or said or what I grew up to be. I dreamt of a mum. To rub salt in the wound (just a little), my sister had a mum. My step-mum, she was all the things to my sister that I would've liked my own mum to be. Loving, supportive (in her own way), interested. She believed my sister to be the most amazing, funny, beautiful child that was ever made. She just didn't feel the same way about me. I'm not going to go into the step-mum saga here as it is a story for another day but suffice to say that this made me long for my mum even more. Long for a different life.

Ninety-five percent of the time my mum not being around is a non issue now. Over time I have learnt to accept it as just the way it is. Every now and then though, I wake up and instead of feeling like a grown up, 28 year old mother of one, I feel a little bit like a sad, frightened, lonely five year old who is aching for her mummy. Mothers day is one of those days.
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Rhia
I am experiencing the mother of all come downs. I was on a massive adrenalin high and now nothing. I've gone cold turkey off the good stuff and I have no idea what to do with myself. My wedding took over 12 months to plan- this equals 12 months of obsessing thinking about every little detail from dresses to stationary to music and now it is over.

In the three weeks since I have been married I have come up with a number of new plans to occupy myself and perhaps give myself a little hit of adrenalin... These have included but are not limited to redecorating the house, having another baby and (and this was my favourite of all favourites) buy a villa in Bali and relocate the family. Unfortunately all of these options have been vetoed by my new husband (although he did allow me one room of the house as a 'compromise').

How long does it take to get back to normal? If this goes on much longer I have been advised that we will make Kim Kardashian look like the poster child for long marriages- I am driving him crazy!

If you wanna re-live my glory days with me the photo's are here - My wedding photo's

This is my first time joining in with Jess from the Diary of a SAHM's
Rhia
I think I have made it pretty clear that I am no culinary genious- however I can throw together a quick tasty meal that both Man and Child will happily devour. This little gem was tried and tested on Friday night and considered a big success in our household- therefore will probably make the regular rotation of after work meals until met with protests that they just can't eat it again :p

5 Minute Fried Rice

Ingredients:
Sun Rice 2 Quick Cups Chicken Rice (x2)
250g Shortcut Bacon
1 Bunch spring onions 
1 cup of bean shoots
1 baby tin of baby corn
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 egg
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs olive oil

Method:

Heat oil in frying pan on med-high
fry off the spring onions, garlic, ginger for 1 minute
add diced bacon and cook together for 1-2 minutes
whisk egg and add to frying pan (push aside bacon and onions) to cook your omelet. Break up and mix through.
Add corn and bean shoots.
Microwave your rice 2 cups at a time for 1 minute each and then add to pan
Stir until combined and heated through.

Serve. (should serve 4 large-ish serves).

You can add more vegies to this- this is just what we had in the fridge. The verdict was 'pretty tasty- I like it' despite my husband's mocking call of "look out mum's taking shortcuts again" as I was cooking it :-)

Do you have any 5 monute meals that your family just love?

Rhia
If you are looking for my IBOT post it is here - I submitted the wrong link because I am having a bad day - sorry :)

Without Further Ado....





If you are looking for my IBOT post it is here - I submitted the wrong link because I am having a bad day - sorry :)
Rhia
So lovelies, I am back! And now I am married. If you happened to notice (or not- that's ok too) my absence in April it was because I was off to Bali (magical place that it is) to get married and have my honeymoon - if you can call a holiday with a three year old tyrant-in-training a honeymoon.

Now I am obviously still new at this blogging business as I very stupidly left all the photography of the trip up to others- and am now still waiting on photos to share with you all- especially of the all important wedding. The wait is nearly over though- I should have some up over the weekend along with the *wedding video* - see don't say I don't deliver :p ...

In the mean time I can share a couple of happy snaps from the holiday portion of our trip...

Fun was had by everyone...
As you can see we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. How relaxed do we look? I am fairly sure that those pretty coloured cocktails had an awful lot to do with that :-)

We also had some notable wildlife encounters... (Don't worry none of these were just 'roaming around' or anything.

Yep that is what it looks like...
Can you believe that elephant statue. Obviously I am all 'mature and shit' now that I'm married as I totally lost it laughing over that statue. This is what you are greeted with upon entering the Elephant Park in Taro. I am sure it has made for some pretty awkward family convo's over the years. We told MM they were 'playing'... We have some more cool pics with animals to come - I actually got to hold a baby Orangutan, which was totally amazing!

Well I just wanted to check in and say hi. I've missed the blog and am glad to be back! Stay tuned for the wedding pics and video next week.

P.S. Have you ever been blind sighted at a wildlife park and ended up in a 'sex' talk you had no idea you would have to have? Believe it or not this is not my first rodeo. Once at the Perth Zoo MM and I were confronted by a Baboon with a massive boner... Awkward!
Rhia
You know you are happy when you are smiling so much that the attendant at the petrol station notices and asks you what's the deal?

This happened to me today as I got a call that my alterations were finished on my wedding dresses (yes I mean plural). I promptly got up and practically ran to my car, drove directly to the alterations place and tried those babies on. They FIT perfectly! Even the small one! Yay Yay Yay Yay.

The alterations lady was so happy she hugged me. I was so happy I hugged her back (weird as those who know me will attest- I am NOT a hugger). I was so happy that I smiled all the way to pick up some garments from the other alterations place, then all the way back to work and then apparently was still smiling so much 45 minutes later when I ducked into the Petrol Station next door to my work (to grab 2 minute noodles as I forget to get lunch on my lunch break) that the attendant couldn't help but ask me what was making me so happy.

In fact I am so happy that I am  now recovered from my meltdown that occurred this morning after my sister texted me to tell me that her size 2 dress (that when it arrived I panicked because I couldn't imagine anyone being tiny enough to fit into it) was WAYYYY (exactly how she wrote it) too big. WTF! That almost got her kicked out of the wedding! Luckily for her my dresses now look perfect, fit perfect and are perfect and that means I am happy enough to forgive her for being such a skinny bitch (at MY wedding- the nerve!) I'll bet she looks gorgeous on the day too- no idea about being a good sister...

Anyway need to go and stretch out my face a bit- my cheeks hurt :-)
Rhia
Image via accessalex.com
When I called the dance studio yesterday morning the instructor kindly informed me that "oHHHHH You have left it awfully late, but I guess we can see what we can do..." This naturally pumped up my tyres and I took myself and my oodles of confidence (along with FI of course)  to the dance lesson that evening.

Let me just say now that my visions of wowing our guests with our Dancing with the Stars worthy performance have faded and in their place are lovely images of us shuffling around with me saying every two minutes "shit that was supposed to be my other leg first" or "Oh Crap I was supposed to turn then wasn't I?". Or even both of us just dancing into the wall because we didn't think it through and started in the wrong place. Either way I am sure it will be very graceful and elegant and simply scream romance. I mean after all what is more romantic than two people gritting their teeth with pained looks on their faces, muttering "walk, walk, side, together, step, turn close..."? Nothing I am sure.

Just think what we'll be capable of after our final two lessons!
Rhia
23 days to go and counting. It has dawned on me though, that we are leaving the country in around 16 days and I am not prepared!

I have gone from completely chill and almost serene about the planning to a complete and utter nutcase in about 24 hours. I am not entirely sure what set off this recent bout of panic but it has taken over- with a vengeance! I woke up this morning with an overwhelming need to confirm every single detail. I absolutely lost my shit, just on reading an email from the wedding coordinator which indicated she hadn't recorded ALL of  my song choices.

I have realised that we still don't actually know who is coming and who isn't coming to the wedding and which of these people are bringing their children. Given that this is the case I am panicked about feeding said children. Even though that is completely irrational as I am sure that the venue will accommodate even at late notice.

I decided a while back that I was going to take my dress to the alterations place in the shopping centre as it is very simple and they assured me they just need a week. Now that I am 3 weeks out I am completely shitting myself that it is too late (despite what they said) and I'll be stuck with 2 dresses that don't fit- one is way too big as I have lost weight and the reception dress is too small as I didn't lose enough weight. Oh holy hell I am going to have a million wedding dresses and nothing to wear.

I am freaking out over the fact that we have not purchased luggage yet (and do not own a suitcase between us that is not falling apart- this from two fairly well travelled people?). I am concerned that when we do pack I am going to forget one of the 1000 things I need to take with me (and yes, I am having a destination wedding to avoid the need to be stressing about the details). I am having visions of putting on my (ill-fitting) dress and promptly realising that I have no hairpiece, jewellery, wedding rings, garters, purses etc.

I had a nice long convo with my sister last night- who happens to be my bridesmaid. She reminded me about Bali belly. I went to the docs to get shots for Bali but he never mentioned you can get a Bali Belly preventor and so none of us have taken one. I am now having frequent episodes in which I panic that the whole wedding party has been taken down by food poisening and the wedding is cancelled or worse turned into "that scene" (you know the one) from the movie Bridesmaids.

So I am going to have to get us all packed off to the doctors for the Bali Belly preventor- and some anti anxiety meds whilst I am there! Did you panic and stress over the details of your wedding? Did anything actually go wrong? Did you care?


Rhia
When I was eighteen I was a freelance Makeup Artist. I had a really irregular income and schedule and it was kind of all over the place but I loved it. I also thought it was ok because it seemed to fit with what I thought was appropriate for an 18 year old.

When I dropped out of uni to figure out what I really wanted to do when I grew up, I thought it would be a good idea to add beauty therapy skills to my resume to kind of stabilise the income a little. So off I went to beauty school and got myself a nice fancy diploma to hang on the wall. This seemed to do the trick for a few years- I even opened up my own Makeup & Beauty Studio. It still just didn't seem very grown up. I was in my twenties by now and felt that I should have a "career" not a "job" and makeup and beauty just felt a bit like a "job". My ambitious little self wasn't satisfied with this and my insecure self was worried about what people might think.

I had told myself that I was going to figure out what I wanted to "be" and then go and "be" it. I just got a little sidetracked and hadn't really thought about what that was- for a few years. So to make up for lost time I decided what I was going to become. Without any real thought. Just plucked the idea out of the air and ran with it. I was going to be a Financial Adviser. I didn't actually know what a financial adviser was or did day to day but it sounded really grown up. Like a career.

The next week I decided to apply for a job in a bank- because banks employ financial advisers. If I worked somewhere that employed financial advisers, I would be one step closer (technically, I suppose) to being a financial adviser. Luckily for me I got the job- I am actually still a bit surprised at this as I do recall asking in the interview about the uniform and upon hearing their answer, exclaiming "that is excellent- I look great in all those colours!". I mean I was joking (mostly) but it probably wasn't really job interview material. Anyhoo... I got the job and set about learning how to become a financial adviser.

I must have impressed someone there (probably by how well the uniform complemented my complexion) because within 12 months I was working along side a financial adviser as their support staff with a view to learning the job whilst I studied (on their dime) to get my qualifications. So I got my wish- here I am now with my grown up job (which luckily for me I turned out to be half decent at), sick with nostalgia about the days when I was 18 and didn't have to work 9-5 and got to be creative and do what I love. Oh Boy.

So I do still do makeup artistry. I work on the weekends and do people's weddings (mainly) and it's great and fulfils that creative side of me. But I am knackered as I do work full time in a fairly demanding job and then come home to my 3 year old and be mummy (btw this is also a fairly demanding job) and then go and do makeup on the weekends. I turn down a lot of work as I can't do anything during the week and photographers are often approaching me with weekday shoots that I have no hope of making.

I have also just added in spray tanning to the "beauty" side of things I do as I am looking to increase the ways I can earn money from home. After all that effort and years of hard work to get the "grown up" job, I am now working my butt off trying to figure out how to make it go back to how it was before.

You see I am older now. Hopefully wiser. I have now been taught some valuable lessons about what is important in life. I now know that time with my adorable son and work/life balance is much more important than whether or not people think you have a grown up career or a silly job playing with makeup.

It hasn't been all for nothing though. I learned a lot about myself on my quest to be a grown up. I learned that I am really determined and that I can work really hard and that I can create my reality- if I want to. I also met the man I am about to marry, which I am thankful for every single day. I do think it is a little bit funny that I seemed to have gone full circle in only 10 years.


Rhia
MM is happy this morning and I sing "twinkle little star" with him in the shower to distract him from my slumped shoulders and bloodshot eyes. He thinks if mummy is sad then he did something wrong so I am trying to preserve his happiness, his innocence and hope he will never know this sadness.

I am sitting here lost. Empty. In a trance like state, knowing I should be working but unable to find the focus. People are coming past my office and saying 'good morning', I am confused by this and unable to make my voice work in order to return the greeting.

My chest is tight and feels like it is in the grip of a vice which is being intermittently tightened. I get used to the new level of tightness and someone winds the vice. My eyes are stinging from holding back tears- I cannot cry at work. 'Good Morning'.

Is it? Will it ever be again? Can it be? When things as horrible as this can, will and do happen? How can you make sense of something like this? A little baby, so beautiful, so perfect. With a mummy, a daddy and a big sister loving him so completely. Begging him, begging God and bargaining with any higher power every day to let him get better and come home. An extended family; nanas, grandads, aunties and uncles all watching on in fear and disbelief that this little family should be faced with such tragedy... again. How much can one family take? How much of their broken hearts remain after the first tragedy. What will be left after this one?

My heart aches for my brother. How can he continue to be after this. Let alone be strong for his daughter and wife. My soul is crying for his wife who has been so amazing this last three months. Getting up everyday and going to the hospital to sit by her son. Watching and waiting. Learning all there is to know about CF in order to fight with the doctors to keep trying and give him every chance. To stroke his head and let him know that mummy is there. Loving him,praying for him, protecting him. I think of her pain this morning when she gets up, only to realise, that she has nowhere to be. I can't face it, I have to look away.

I think of the platitudes that people often bandy about in times of sadness and hardship- "everything happens for a reason", "time heals all wounds". None of it helps, none of it even makes sense. It just makes me more fucking angry.

I want to help, I want to be able to stop their hurt- just as I know FI is looking at me helplessly, wishing he could stop mine. There is nothing I can do. Nothing I can say. There are no words.
Rhia
So Sunday marked the end of week one of 'no sugar'. I have to say it had it's moments, but it was in fact worth the effort. My cranky pants remained in place all week but I am happy to report that they are now decidedly loose. Yay.

I had to decline cake on two seperate occasions and had to face up to the fact that subway cookies are definitely a no-go zone - even if I had saved up the calories... But I am now 1.3kgs lighter as a result of my efforts. I am so happy about this that I may actually wear some slightly less cranky pants this week- despite the no sugar.

I can also report that I did sleep better this week. I also seemed to have more energy towards the end of the week too. I just need to remember to eat- now that sugar is off the table I just don't seemed to be all that interested in food in general. I am still continuing with the biggest loser program and trying to exercise- although I only managed a measely 3 sessions last week.

Anyway that's all for this update and as my good friend Tigger likes to say- 'gotta bounce'.
Rhia
Image Credit
If you know me in "real life" you will know how big it is for me to quit sugar. Sugar is what keeps me going. It fuels my rants, is responsible for adding that extra 'pep' to my manic outbursts. It adds a little colour and sunshine into my day. There is probably more sugar in my arteries than blood (though it's probably pretty neck and neck with the caffeine- I am quite the picture of health). Asking me to quit sugar is like asking a heroin addict to stop well doing heroin...

BUT here I am. On day one of no sugar. How did this happen? Frankly I blame that witch Sarah Wilson. She just made so much goddamn sense bitch. I couldn't ignore it. It all started with some morbid curiosity, I was reading Blundermum's blog - which is quite good BTW and I saw her little stat counter at the bottom which said "I've Lost 13kgs by Quitting Sugar". 13kgs you say? That's very impressive- naturally I wanted to know more. Further stalking investigation revealed that she is following Sarah Wilson's Quit Sugar in 8 weeks program. So of course I couldn't stop there- I had to follow the rabbit down the hole.

$15 later and I am opening up the Quit Sugar in 8 Weeks Guide- ready to scoff and ridicule and completely reject the whole idea as nonsense. Ready to continue on the way I am, feeling validated and secure in my life choices.  Except I didn't. Instead I started to relate to what was being said:

Never knowing when to stop eating sugar- check
Slim arms and legs with a massive spare tire around the middle - check
Not sleeping well- check
Aches, pains and inflammation- check
Moody and anxious- check

Oh crap- she's describing me! I read on with a slightly more open mind until by the end I am completely converted and have no option  but to shop for all the ingredients on the shopping list and get rid of all the sugar in the house. Yep that's right, if I'm going down, I'm taking them down with me.

I am looking forward to a new sugar free me. To the day when I can say- chocolate? Oh no thanks I'd rather not - and actually mean it! I am taking my life back. I will not be ruled any longer by my sugar addiction and if I happen to lose a sneaky 13kgs along the way- well I won't object. Apparently this also means giving up fruit and honey and sweeteners...I am not giving up my daily diet coke though- not for anyone. Let's not get crazy here...

Have you quit something you never thought you would? How did it go?
Rhia
MM's birthday party was yesterday and I am pleased to say it went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect, bouncy castle was bouncy and the kids were happy (and not killing each other). Phew....

I got over my menu paralysis (thank you for your kind suggestions) it worked out pretty well with classic party food and a few healthy alternatives thrown in for good measure. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and somehow through sheer luck I actually had the perfect amount of food and drinks. The cake turned out ok. Just ok- actually it kind of looked good from far away but up close was a bit of a mess (a total 'monet' for all you other closet Clueless fans). A really good candidate for photoshop - but the kids liked it so I was happy with my efforts.

Now confessions.... I am not one of those 'social' mummies. When I do the daycare run I am in and out as quick as lightening and in 3 years I may have accidentally learned about 3 other mums names but I barely recall a conversation with any of those mums in that whole time. It's just not my style. In fact I probably do actively send off "do not approach- hazard" vibes. This makes birthday parties a little awkward. All of a sudden you are the host and need to make small talk with the same people you've been dodging for 3 years. Talk about pressure! "Hi...Umm... sorry I always ignore you"... "so....do you live around here?". Yep painful.

Of course I am also worried about what the "daycare mums" think of me- this of course turns into obsessing over how the house looks - because they may need leave the park and enter my house for 2 minutes in order to go to the toilet... It really wasn't a big surprise that when the last mum left and it was only family still hanging around, I felt a massive weight lift off my shoulders- and I immediately ran home to grab the champagne. Ahhhh all better.

Of course my family all jump on the band wagon with the "oh here we go- the mums leave and the true colours come out" jokes... Um Duh!

Anyway it's all done for another year and we're all happy! Tell me- how do you cope with your kids parties?


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Rhia
Remember when you were a kid? How much did you love yourself a birthday party? Games, junk food, music- what's not to love? We used to have so much fun and that was when kids parties were nothing more than some fairy bread and a pass the parcel or maybe a pin the tale on the donkey. Ahh simpler times...

MM's party is this weekend and will consist of a Cars2 theme (and just so you are also in 'the know' Cars2 is very different to Cars and you do get told off for mixing them up). This means that there will be Cars2 'scene setters' everywhere (read- large posters of Cars2 characters), checkered (like race flags) table cloths, rediculously overpriced Cars2 party gear such as plates, cups, party hats etc. Even the bouncy castle has Cars characters on it (this could be an issue as they have not yet made a Cars2 bouncy castle). There will also be face painting and a giant 3D cake.

I have been planning his party for a few weeks now but in my usual fashion have left the menu planning (if you can call it that for a kids birthday) to the absolute last second. I was thinking 'kids birthday- easy we'll have some sausage rolls and party pies and maybe chocolate crackles and fairy bread. Done. Easy.' But then I thought about it. Can you really get away with that these days? I think of all the different kinds of parenting out there now and then there are the allergies. What about the kids who aren't allowed to eat junk food? Or are Gluten or Dairy free? I am I supposed to cater to these kids too? Should I have put out a 'Dietry Requirements?' card with the invitations?

I feel like I am walking through a minefield here. HELP!!

What do you do for food at a kids party? Are the classics still ok? Or are there new rules?


Rhia
The count down to the wedding continues (53 Days) and I am still working on those details. I am grateful that I can now cross "something old" off the list thanks to Etsy. Meet my beautiful new (to me) vintage clutch. She's not designer so a very budget friendly item- but she's pretty...and old.

I have been working so hard on all these little details- it is hard to imagine them all coming together on the day, although I am sure they will. Weddings are so exciting - and the marraige part too. I am so looking forward to cementing our little family.

It's funny, I thought I wouldn't get so caught up in the little things but somehow you do get swept away- and find yourself tearing up when you find that perfect song. Or when you write your vows. Or when you find a reading that says how you feel in just the perfect way. Come to think of it there has been quite a few tears lately... but they have been happy ones.

Anyway- enough from me. I have something borrowed to think about...

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Rhia
image via medical-library.org
I think I've finally flipped my lid and gone mad. Not sure if there is any coming back. Crazy is no longer normal - even for me. Therefore there is a new blog title. I am just going to have to embrace it. You can think of me as the "mad hatter of mummies" or something.

Sorry if it's contagious.


Rhia
Now that my shoe crisis has been averted (fingers crossed), I am trying to cleverly put together my perfect wedding day look (without breaking the bank). Budget is important to us- as we haven't yet fulfilled our life ambition of winning lotto, but since I am a bit of a princess the right look  probably takes priority.

As my dress (which cannot be pictured as FI has been known to drop by and read this from time to time- Hi Honey) has a sweetheart neckline (it's ok- he doesn't know what that means) and I have decided against a necklace, this has left me with only having to find earrings and a bracelet for my bridal jewellery.

image via diva.net.au
I found the earrings sometime back on eBay and I have to say they are pretty special- gorgeous crystal drop earrings with a slight vintage feel AND only $19.99. This left me pondering the bracelet. I have been umming and ahh-ing over a few styles and today decided on something a little different. It will be my only "splash of colour" and my something blue...

It is very different to what I thought of going with but I do love the idea of a tiny bit of colour- especially considering everything else is varying shades of cream. I also loved the price - another $19.99.

Now I just need to work on something old and borrowed... Any ideas?
Rhia
My little boy is turning 3 this week. It has become increasingly obvious of late that he is growing up. He is no longer a baby but a little boy. In honour of his little self I have compiled a list of 10 things that make me melt inside:
  1. I love that he giggles and says "You make me funny" when I make him laugh  
  2. I love that he says I am a princess and he is my ham-son prince 
  3. I love that he already has an entourage. Right now this consists of White Blanky, Mickey, Blue Teddy, Elephant and Finn McMissile. The entourage has been recently culled as it was making bedtime quite the ordeal.
  4. I love that he gives his toys such ingenious names eg Red Car, Orange Car, Hippo, Blue Bear etc. I may have started this trend but he has followed it in good stead.
  5. I love that he tells me to "say 'Yay' and Clap mummy" when he "does wees" but will tell me "Don't cheer me" with his little policeman's 'stop' hands when he sings his 'ABC's.
  6. I love that he lets me do "snuggly wuggly" cuddles when he thinks no one is looking
  7. I love that he calls cuddles "cuggles". I hope he never ever stops doing that.
  8. I love that I am his best friend (except for Daddy. And Samarth. And Henry). But STILL.
  9. I love his impressions of me and daddy. Daddy's are particularly funny and involve him tucking his chin into his neck and saying in a very serious voice "Hi I am Daddy".
  10. I love the way his little body fits perfectly into mine when we are having a snuggle. He is growing at a very rapid rate and I have a feeling I may need to enjoy this whilst I can.
Every age is special and I am sure MM will continue to make my heart sing for many more years to come. I think this is going to be my new tradition. Each birthday I am going to write a new '10 things I love about MM' list. Hopefully this way I'll remember all of his gorgeous little nuances for ever.

What traditions have you created for your kids?
Rhia
I look into those big brown eyes and see my own flashing back at me. The same level of intensity, the same steely determination. Except, I think to myself... He hasn't had 28 years of life knocking him down a peg or two. He has the stamina and ego of youth  to see this thing through. This could go on for a while. Oh My God.
-----

25 minutes earlier I am at my desk grateful that my long day is finally drawing to a close. Though- is it really? I still have to pick up MM, go to the supermarket, cook something for dinner (oh good lord, what are we having for dinner?), battle with MM to eat said dinner, wrestle him into his Jarmies and convince him that, yes in fact, he does have to go to sleep. Then I can relax. Then I can breathe.
 -----
I get to daycare. Crap I am late. The guilt forms a heavy ball in the pit of my stomach. They have already moved his age group into the babies room, where all the kids with the parents who are late wait to be picked up together. 

And there he is. My sweet angel (I am sorry I left you here all day). Wait, what is he doing? Oh dear. He's made a gun out of building blocks and he is going around and shooting all the kids in the head- one by one (see what happens when you leave him for so long). Quick, just get his bag and get him out of here before anyone notices. That's it, nearly there.... And then "Oh Just a minute- Before you go"... I inwardly cringe and slowly turn around. "Ms X from MM's room would like a word with you. There was an incident in the sand pit". Of course there was. 

I convince MM to put down his "gun" and get him out into the hall where Ms X promptly pounces. I listen to her describe 'the incident' whilst hissing at MM to "use his walking feet" as he has broken free and is now running flat out from one end of the centre to the other bashing into and bouncing off walls as he goes. Ms X's lecture and my reverie are broken as MM hits his head and starts wailing. Loudly. Very Loudly.

I pick him up and rub his head, taking the opportunity to get out whilst I can. 
 -----

Here we are again. At the car with his defiant eyes staring back at me. "I AM NOT HAVING MY CAR SEAT" he screams at me making it so high pitched at the end that he likely burst the eardrums of the all dogs in the neighboring two suburbs. And then the legs go and the kicking starts. Here we go. As I am doing my best to restrain him (within the bounds of the law of course), I hear the gate open and close behind me. Another mum. With her perfectly behaved child. Walking peacefully to their car. I feel the shame spread through me, burning the back of my neck and ears. "That's it!" I say in sheer desperation. "There will be no TV tonight and NO icecream". MM stops instantly- in time for me to hear the sharp intake of breath from Perfect Mum with her Perfect Child and the tut tut tutting. I could practically feel her disapproval in the air and her righteous "No wonder your child carries on like that- TV and Icecream?". I shake myself, snap out of it. I stop focusing on that, realising that MM is finally quiet and we can finally go. 

"Is it time for icecream Mama?" asks my beautiful boy, looking at me like butter wouldn't melt in his adorable little mouth.
 ----

FI arrives home and takes one look at my face. He takes me in his arms and asks if I am ok. "I will be" I mumble into his chest. "It's just one of those days".
Rhia
Today I am saddened. I realise now that acting in haste though ill advised, may actually sometimes work in our favour.

I am getting married in 59 days (according to my helpful project wedding update) and I am on the quest to find the perfect wedding shoe. I should rephrase that. I am again on the quest to find the perfect shoe. About 6 weeks ago I found the most perfect bridal shoe, cream and satin and romance and all things wonderful all wrapped up in a beautiful shoe. For those of you thinking "geez cool down, it's just a freakin' shoe" I am going to rebut with - Have you not read Cinderella?? Shoes are what fairytales are made of.
image via kaboodle.com

See for yourself:

Is she not the most beautiful thing you have EVER seen?

"Sigh"....

It is not meant to be. Apparently I am not the only one who feels this way about her as she is SOLD OUT! Everywhere in the whole effing world!

I was being responsible. I was being budget conscious and I felt that maybe, just maybe I could find another shoe at a bit more of a "budget friendly" price. I thought "don't act so hastily, there'll be another shoe half the price and you'll be happy you waited". Oh what a fool I was.

I am heart broken. I don't know where to look - there is no other shoe. I am going to be a tale of caution for brides world over. All I can do now is pray (and stalk eBay like a crazy person) until someone gives one up . Don't make the same mistake I did, if you see the perfect shoe- Grab it! Pay for it and never EVER let it go.

EDIT:
I felt I must come back and give an update on this situation as I know that many, like myself, love a happy ending (the fairytale kind of course, not the dirty version). I searched eBay yesterday, including the international sites and there was nothing. No I lie, there was an expired listing that was just sitting there. Taunting me. Making it worse.

I didn't give up though- I woke up this morning, went to work and searched again. And there she was. My beautiful, perfect Lyndee in Cream (there are plenty of the Rose ones left- but there is a reason for that...yuk). I couldn't let myself believe - one listing IN THE ENTIRE WORLD... it couldn't possibly be in my size!... Could it? I clicked on the listing, my eyes screwed tight, barely daring to look, barely daring to breathe. OH MY GOD!!! It was exactly my size. I squealed in delight (earning myself some interesting looks from my co-workers). I was so excited I almost didn't notice the price. It was HALF yes half the retail price and "New in Box". You could have knocked me over with a feather. Needless to say, these little beauties are on their way to me from the US as we speak.

I think I may just have to change the title of this post to Dreams Really Do Come True.

















































































































Rhia
If you are a foodie then look away- this may hurt your soul. IF however you are like me and need to prepare low calorie meals (for yourself) that a grown man and a toddler will both enjoy then please, keep reading...

This happened a little bit by accident one day when we decided we wanted pizza but the toppings were slim. The best inventions are often by accident though aren't they? It may sound like an odd combination and I'll admit- it is a little quirky, but it works. This is now a firm favourite in our household.

Pepperoni and Pickled Onion Pita Pizza:

Ingredients:
Wholemeal Pita as the base
Legos BBQ sauce for Pizza
Pepperoni Salami 25g (per pizza)
Green Capsicum
Sliced Mushrooms
Pickled onion
Grated Cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees (celcius)
Spread the Pita with a tablespoon of the BBQ sauce
Top with chopped Capsicum, sliced mushroom, chopped pickled onions and pepperoni.
Cover with a sprinkle of grated cheese.
Bake on a pizza stone (for best results) until cheese is golden.

TIP: make sure pickled onion is chopped small and evenly distributed.


Also MM doesn't like anything "spikey" so we use shaved chicken breast on his:




It really is delicious and is an awesome alternative to take-away. MM loves Pizza Night and I love the fact that it only takes 5 mins to prepare. It gets rave reviews from FI too and he is always looking around for more :-)


I also love that it is relatively guilt free. It is about 409 calories per pizza as described but on days where I need to lower the calories I just use less cheese or pepperoni. Low fat cheese is also an option on low cal days.

What crazy recipes do your kids love?
Rhia
MM's birthday is just around the corner now and I (being the awesome mummy that I am) am trying to get these Cars 2 face painting characters down...

Friday, on the way home from work I think ok this is my chance. I'll pin MM down and practice. He promptly falls asleep on the way home from daycare (this NEVER happens BTW) and I am stuck with my hand and the inside of my left arm as a canvas.

Oh Dear. It's not quite as easy as I thought. A glass of wine and 20 mins later this is what I've come up with:























It turns out that facepaint is harder to work with than makeup. It was also much easier with a pencil and paper. This leaves me wondering if it's ok to scream at three year olds "it's Mater cos I say it's Mater". Oh Boy.

Why am I doing this again??



Oh yeah... that's right. I mean really, could you say no to that face??






Rhia
In case you can't tell I am a little grumpy today. In fact FI, myself and MM are all a little grumpy today. Most people would be if woken up at 5.05am by a 'cock-a-doodle-doo'. In case you are wondering, I'll clear a couple of things up for you... No I don't live on a farm, Yes it IS still dark at 5.05am and no I don't have any pet chooks.

My anger is quite squarely directed at Dora. You know the one- the annoying little explorer who can't actually manage to do anything for herself - "I need YOUR help- will YOU help me?" Umm no. No I won't. Not ever again. F' Off. You have taught my previously delightful nearly 3 year old angel, to wake me up at the crack of dawn with a VERY pleasant (please note the 'sartalics') "cock-a-doodle-doo". And WHY was he up so early?? Well isn't it obvious? He wanted to watch Dora. Arrrrggggggggghhhhhh.

When I explained that in fact it was the middle of the night and Dora isn't on in the middle of the night, MM decided it was entirely appropriate to have a complete tanty. Fun morning.

Is anyone corrupting your perfectly well behaved, innocent children??





Rhia
Hmmm I probably could've asked myself this question about 250 muffins ago. Anyone who has never had to lie on the floor flopping around like a fish on the side of a pond just to inch their 'miracle' jeans up over their massive arse, may tell you it is. I can now categorically tell you that it isn't. Nothing is.

All this time I have agonised over how to lose weight. How to stop eating junk food, how to get my butt off the couch and do some exercise in order to make a dent in my weight loss goal- and it all comes down to that one simple question. How did it never occur to me before?

The beauty of this little gem is that it can be applied in so many situations- the happy meal that I just have to have, the 'I can't exercise cos the Kardashians are on' excuse, the cupcake I just 'can't not eat', the 'mmm just 10 more minutes and then I'll get up' sleep-in...

This is going to be my new 'go to'. Everytime I am about to hurtle myself (and my big butt) off the wagon, I am now going to ask first- Is it worth being fat for?
Rhia
Nothing is more enticing to a child (who would rather be anywhere but where they are) than the idea of far away lands. Imagine an enchanted tree that could lead you to magical creatures and exciting adventures. In fact who wouldn't be excited about such a phenomenon.

I spent a lot of time up that tree whilst I was growing up. I was friends with Moonface and Silky and Dame Slap haunted my dreams on more than one occasion. Escapism at its best. I would literally spend hours at a time immersed in my perfect world where the enchanted was not only possible but was found by simply climbing a tree. I wanted so badly to be one of them -Jo, Bessie, Connie, Fannie or Dick (yes, seriously Fannie & Dick - in the one family. What are the chances??).

There was something all so comforting about the big warm farmhouse and the loving family that the story was exciting to me even when they were grounded and playing among the Rhododendrons (BTW I had no idea what a Rhododendron was when I was reading the story the first 17 times).

I am grown now and my need for escapism is not what it once was. But I think back fondly and wonder...Aah, where are they now? The Land of Topsy Turvey, The Land of Do-As-You-Please, treacle, honey biscuits, the Angry Pixie and the Saucepan Man? Are they still there? Is Dame Wash-a-Lot still throwing her dirty water over people? It may be time to head back up the tree, maybe this time MM will join me....


Rhia
I had therapy last night.

I am emerging from a dark period of postnatal depression that went unrecognised and thus untreated for the first 18 months of MM's little life. I was (I can now admit) still a great mum during this time. I made sure everyday that MM was loved and cared for and protected from anything that could ever hurt him. I was just not the best partner or very kind to myself.

During this time, when I wasn't being mummy, I retreated into myself and let the pain swallow me down into its dreary depths. I wasn't there for FI, I was barely there for myself. I was cruel and harsh and my biggest tormentor. FI (god bless him) was doing his best- he knew I had disappeared but didn't know how to bring me back. My illness was the elephant in the room. The great unspoken. We knew there was a problem- but neither of us spoke about it. But he stuck by me and loved me and here I am. On the otherside.

I began my awakening (that's what it felt like) when my doctor finally got through to me and convinced me to try some medication. I was anti pills, anti admitting there was something mentally wrong and convinced that my illness (which was oddly presenting as physical symptoms a lot of the time) was something systemic that could not be fixed by an anti-depressant. I was wrong.

I spent the next 15 months taking this medication. At first it was like waking from a bad dream. The relief was immeasurable. I steadily improved and began to take my life back. I went back to my 'proper' job, started connecting with people again and rebuilding my relationship. Finally 2 months ago I stopped taking the medication. I can not even believe the effects that this has had. For the last (nearly) 3 years I had been first depressed and anxious beyond belief and then for the most part numb. Numb was defintely an improvement on depressed but was so far from what I am feeling now.

I now have a sad day every now and then. I was sad after my counseling session last night. Since stopping the medication I feel sadness deeply. I have even been known to cry at the news. The emotion (which for so long has been held at bay) creeps up on me and taps me on the shoulder and then scares the sh*t out of me. I find it overwhelming. But I won't go back. Why? Because now I feel joy. Actual, proper joy. When I wake up and feel FI lying next to me, or when MM is giggling that gorgeous giggle- the joy spreads through me and warms my heart. It soothes my soul and makes me happy to be alive. I won't go back.

It has taken me until recently to want to talk about it. Any of it. The moments where I feel I can open up are rare and fleeting. So now I am embracing them. My therapist is relatively new (to me) and I still, even with him, will fill the first 40 mins of our session with inconsequential chatter until I feel the last 5 minutes closing in and then I blurt something out. Something important. Something that could possibly help me heal. So now I know I need to capture the windows of openess and make the most of them. I want to rid my living room of the elephant once and for all and make some more room for me...